Karen Dewitt | WAMC

Karen Dewitt

NYS Capitol Correspondent

Ways to Connect

New York State Capitol
Karen DeWitt

The New York Assembly and Senate have approved the repeal of a measure that’s been used to shield police disciplinary records from the public. But opponents, including police unions and some Republican senators, say it unfairly singles out officers for scrutiny that other public servants don’t face.

Senate Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins speaks to Karen DeWitt in a socially distanced interview June 8, 2020
Gary Ginsberg / NYS Senate

The New York State Legislature met at the state Capitol Monday to unveil police reform legislation. Governor Andrew Cuomo has promised to sign the package. 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaking June 5, 2020.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/governorandrewcuomo/49974120471/

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says the video of an elderly white man in Buffalo knocked down by police and left to bleed on the sidewalk made him “sick to his stomach." The Democrat is calling for the Erie County District Attorney to investigate criminal charges for the officers involved. 

School Bus at Shenedehowa
ThoseGuys119 | Flickr

Saturday is the deadline for voters to get their ballots in the mail for New York state’s school board and school budget elections. There will be no in-person voting in the June 9 elections due to safety precautions because of the coronavirus pandemic.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaking April 20, 2020.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/governorandrewcuomo/49797800133/

Governor Andrew Cuomo says outdoor dining can begin in upstate regions of New York now in phase two of reopening, beginning June 4.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
Pat Bradley / WAMC

There were fewer incidences of looting around New York state on Tuesday night, after three nights that left many stores damaged and empty of merchandise.  Governor Andrew Cuomo credited better efforts by the police and walked back some critical comments he made Tuesday about the NYPD.

NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo
NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew Cuomo says he’s “outraged and disappointed” over the looting of several stores that took place last night in New York City, and he says the city’s mayor and the NYPD did not do their job.

WAMC

Many eligible voters for the June 23 primary in New York are receiving applications for absentee ballots in the mail, as the state tries to make it easier for people to avoid physically going to the polls during the COVID-19 pandemic. But voting rights advocates say more needs to be done.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
Pat Bradley / WAMC

Governor Andrew Cuomo has issued an executive order that allows businesses to deny entry to customers who aren’t wearing a mask. He says it’s intended to improve public health and reduce fights.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
https://www.flickr.com/photos/governorandrewcuomo/49874496243/

Governor Andrew Cuomo took his plea for more federal relief to Washington Wednesday. Speaking at the National Press Club, the Democrat said New York and other states hardest hit by the coronavirus also pay billions more dollars in taxes to the federal government than they get back. 

New York State Capitol
Karen DeWitt

New York state lawmakers returned to session this week, with plans to vote on bills aimed at helping New Yorkers cope with the changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo at his briefing May 5, 2020.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/governorandrewcuomo/49860390977/

Governor Andrew Cuomo says he believes New York state has finally “turned the page” on the COVID-19 pandemic and it’s time to focus on restarting the economy. The Democrat will meet with President Trump on Wednesday to discuss federal funds for state projects - including repairing commuter rail tunnels in New York City.

New York State Capitol
Karen DeWitt

While Governor Andrew Cuomo has held daily briefings on the coronavirus and issued more 250 executive orders, the New York state legislature has been absent from the Capitol for six weeks. Now, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Senate Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins say they plan to hold committee meetings on May 26, and convene in session in the following days to vote on legislation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaking April 20, 2020.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/governorandrewcuomo/49797800133/

Memorial Day weekend begins with beaches opening up and other tentative steps to restart New York state’s economy. But Governor Andrew Cuomo said today from New York City that other recreational activities will be based on the number of new COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, center, with Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, right, and the governor’s budget director Robert Mujica.
Karen DeWitt

Governor Andrew Cuomo has about 10 days before he has to make some big decisions about New York’s estimated $14 billion budget deficit. The Democrat is hoping that Congress will pass a bailout measure to avert some of the financial pain, but some Republican senators are resisting.

New York State Capitol
Flickr/wadester16

Parts of New York are gradually reopening, with Western New York to join five other regions on Tuesday and begin phase one of a four-phase process. The Capital Region is expected to begin reopening this week. But, Governor Andrew Cuomo said Monday that churches, synagogues, mosques, and other houses of worship are not permitted to reopen until phase four. Religious leaders are asking the state for more guidance, and whether, if they practice safe social distancing, they could open sooner.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaking in Albany May 15, 2020.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/governorandrewcuomo/49897854043/

Governor Andrew Cuomo on Friday announced that New York’s beaches will be open for Memorial Day weekend, along with beaches in New Jersey, Connecticut and Delaware, but at 50% capacity and with strict rules about social distancing. 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo holds daily Coronavirus press brief in Syracuse on May 14, 2020.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/governorandrewcuomo/49895371571/

Several upstate regions of New York are poised to begin reopening Friday. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that Central New York can now join the areas that are starting the first phase of a reopening.

Natasha Amott runs Whisk, a kitchen accessory shop in downtown Brooklyn.
Screen grab from Zoom call.

The New York state legislature on Wednesday took one of its first official actions since passing a state budget over a month ago. Lawmakers held a virtual public hearing on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on small businesses, and how the federal government has responded.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is urging Congress to include money in its next federal aid package to help state governments that are financially decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some Republican senators have resisted the proposal.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
https://www.flickr.com/photos/governorandrewcuomo/49644651991/

New York is poised for a first step in reopening businesses, as Governor Andrew Cuomo announces that three regions of the state have met his criteria to begin a slow reopen, starting with some construction and manufacturing businesses as soon as this Friday.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaking May 8, 2020.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/governorandrewcuomo/49870532563/

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is extending a one-year lookback window for victims of childhood sexual abuse to file lawsuits for an additional five months, to mid-January. The Democrat announced the change at his daily coronavirus briefing Friday, where he also said his health officials are looking into a new related illness in children that killed a five-year-old boy on Thursday.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

Some businesses in New York state may reopen as early as mid-to-late May. Business leaders are putting together plans to try to operate safely, and prevent spread of the coronavirus. 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo at his briefing May 5, 2020.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/governorandrewcuomo/49860390977/

The average number of daily deaths in New York due to COVID-19 has decreased in recent days, with 230 reported on Monday, an increase of four from Sunday. But the state is now adding 1,700 more deaths at nursing homes in the past few weeks that are believed to be from the virus.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says some upstate regions in the state may be able to have a limited re-opening of some businesses when the current shutdown order expires May 15th, but it will come with many caveats. He says no region is ready to reopen right now amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Protestors gather outside the New York state Capitol May 1, 2020.
Karen DeWitt

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that all schools in New York will be closed until the end of the school year, and he raised questions about summer school, and even whether schools will reopen in the fall. 

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio virtually joined Governor Andrew Cuomo's briefing on April 30, 2020.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/governorandrewcuomo/49837633068/

New York City subways will be shutting down each night for disinfecting and cleaning starting May 6, and a plan to greatly ramp up contact tracing is beginning. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the moves at his daily coronavirus briefing Thursday, which included appearances by the present and former New York City mayors. 

NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo
NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says many counties in the state with low levels of the coronavirus will be allowed to resume elective surgeries in the coming days, while in the regions hardest hit by the illness the numbers of deaths and hospitalizations are declining at a very slow rate, with 330 deaths from COVID-19 on Tuesday.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
https://www.flickr.com/photos/governorandrewcuomo/49644651991/

Governor Andrew Cuomo offered more details on what needs to be in place before portions of New York state can begin to reopen. But the governor says partial reopening for now likely won’t include major attractions like the State Fair.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo

The food supply disruptions caused by the coronavirus has led to some dairy farmers dumping some of their milk because they have no place to sell it. Governor Andrew Cuomo says the state will be stepping in to try to get the milk to new markets and to help feed those left jobless from the economic shutdown.

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